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An umbilical hernia is a type of hernia that occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the opening in the abdominal muscles through which the umbilical cord once passed.
The umbilicus (the navel or belly button) is the scar on the abdominal wall that develops when the umbilical cord is cut and dries following birth.
Umbilical hernias are common, and are usually harmless. They are common in infants, but they can also affect adults between 40 and 60 years of age.
The processes of abdominal distension increase the chances of it occurring, which explains the higher incidence of umbilical hernia in patients with physical strain on the abdominal wall, obesity, liver cirrhosis, peritoneal dialysis, and in women (especially with multiple pregnancies and obesity).
It accounts for between 3% and 14% of abdominal wall hernias, second only to inguinal hernias in terms of frequency, which account for 10% of the activity of a general surgery department.
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